Writers face many struggles in their chosen craft. How do they get inspiration and explore their chosen subjects? How do they portray themselves to get an audience? Check out these documentaries about writers.
“City of Gold” (2016)
Acclaimed food writer Jonathan Gold sets off on a journey to explore the panoply of regional cuisines and trademark dishes to be found within the vast urban sprawl of Los Angeles. With eternal curiosity, razor-sharp intellect, and existential longing, Gold is a culinary geographer taking us where no critic has gone before. Continue reading “The Write Stuff: Docs About Authors”
People create fake identities for various reasons. In the case of the documentary films below, these fakers wish to expose something to the audience through their trickery. Check out this list of docs that feature various kinds of fakers.
“The Ambassador” (2012)
This is a darkly comic, genre-bending piece of gonzo journalism from international provocateur Mads Brügger. He disguises himself as a European ambassador to expose the business of selling diplomatic titles that allows wealthy businessmen to exploit the resources of Third World nations.
Follows American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi as he transforms himself into a wise Indian guru, hoping to prove the absurdity of blind faith. Instead, he finds himself forging profound connections with people from all walks of life — and wondering if and when to reveal his true self.
“Czech Dream” (2007)
Documents the largest consumer hoax the Czech Republic has ever seen. Two of Eastern Europe’s most promising young documentary filmmakers set out to explore the psychological and manipulative powers of consumerism by creating an ad campaign for a super store that didn’t exist.
Cities can inspire hopes and dreams, so it’s no surprise that they also can inspire fantasy lives as well. This collection of documentaries offers up a unique blend of facts and fantasies involving cities in Canada.
“Seth’s Dominion” (2016)
Director Luc Chamberland sheds light on the cartoonist Seth, mixing insightful biography with vivid animation and exploring his model city named Dominion that Seth has been building for the last 10 years. In this deft portrait, Seth proves to be a wry and engaging narrator of his life story and artistic process. Continue reading “Northern Lights: Docs Featuring Canadian Cities”
Being a gamer can challenge your cognitive ability and your dexterity, but it can also be a challenge to your social skills. How can gamers interact constructively with others while still maintaining their competitive edge? Check out these documentaries about various kinds of gamers.
“Wizard Mode” (2016)
This film is a candid personal perspective on autism through the life of one of the world’s greatest pinball players. The film follows Robert Gagno as he seeks to balance his quest to become a world pinball champion and his growing real world responsibilities, culminating at the largest pinball tournament in the world. Continue reading “Playing Along: Docs About Gamers”
The art of British graffiti artist Bansky has always raised more questions than answers. This mystique is probably why the artist has been a popular topic for documentaries this past decade. Check out these documentaries about Banksy.
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” (2010)
This film tells the story of how an eccentric French documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. The film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Invader and many of the worlds most infamous graffiti artists at work. Continue reading “Being a Wallflower: Docs About Banksy”
What does it mean to be a single mother in today’s world? What joys and challenges do single mothers face? Check out these documentaries featuring single mothers.
“Kind Hearted Woman” (2013)
This documentary acts as a portrait of a 32-year-old divorced single mother and Oglala Sioux woman living on North Dakota’s Spirit Lake Reservation. The film follows her over three years as she struggles to raise her two children, further her education and heal herself from the wounds of sexual abuse she suffered as a child. Continue reading “One to Grow On: Docs Featuring Single Mothers”
If you’re a music fan and want to dig further behind the music, there are always a lot of great books to read. But if you want to hear the people behind the music and see their process, nothing can beat a documentary. Check out these documentary series that explore different aspects of music history.
The eight-part series explores the art of music recording and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. Featuring more than 160 original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists of all time, “Soundbreaking” explores the nexus of cutting-edge technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives.
Jazz has been called the purest expression of American democracy; a music built on individualism and compromise, independence and cooperation. Ken Burns’ 10 episode series follows the growth and development of jazz music from the gritty streets of New Orleans to Chicago’s south side, the speakeasies of Kansas city and to Times Square.
“The History of Rock & Roll” (1995)
This 10-part documentary covers rock ‘n’ roll history from its humble beginnings in the ’50s to Lollapalooza in the ’90s. Fans can experience their favorite rock ‘n’ roll moments all over again through hundreds of exclusive interviews, classic footage and unforgettable in-concert performances from rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest stars.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying is a situation familiar to many, but may not be fully understood by everyone. What does it feel like to be bullied? What can be done to stop the situation? Check out these docs that examine the issue of bullying.
This is a character-driven documentary following five kids and families over the course of a school year. Provides an intimate and often shocking glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices. You can also check out the companion book to the film in our collection.
“A Brave Heart” (2016)
Follows the inspiring journey of 26-year-old, 58-pound Lizzie from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist. Born with a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight, Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Velasquez was bullied as a child in school for looking different and, later online, as a teenager.
“Bully 911” (2006)
This informational DVD is designed to make children feel considerably more confident when coping with bullies by teaching them the tools to escape without getting hurt. Includes a bonus feature with an extensive forum on bullies that addresses all issues of bullying with parents, kids and child psychologists.
Some journalists cover stories in hostile environments, putting their lives at risk on a daily basis. How do they carry out their jobs in such dangerous locales, and how does their journalism help society? Check out these docs featuring reporters doing high-risk journalism. Continue reading “Dangerous Inquiries: Docs Featuring High-Risk Journalism”